Energy Levels Each electron in an atom has a specific amount of energy. If an atom gains or loses energy, the energy of an electron can change .
Energy Levels: the possible energies that electrons in an atom can have
Example: A person walking up and down steps on a stair case
An electron in an atom can move from one energy level to another when the atom gains or loses energy
Evidence for Energy Levels
What evidence is there that electrons can move from one energy level to another?
Scientists can measure the energy gained when the electrons move to a higher energy level. They can measure the energy released when the electron returns to the lower energy level
Example: The movement of electrons between energy levels explains the light you see when fireworks explode
Electron Cloud Model
Bohr’s model was improved as scientists made further discoveries.
Bohr was correct when he said that electrons are located in certain energy levels. However he was incorrect in assuming that electrons moved like planets in a solar system. Today scientists know that electrons move in a less predictable way.
Electron Cloud Model
Electron Cloud: a visual model of the most likely locations for electrons in an atom.
The cloud is denser at those locations where the probability of finding an electron is high. Scientists use the electron cloud model to describe the possible locations of electrons around the nucleus.
Example: Plane propeller
Orbital: a region of space around the nucleus where an electron is likely to be found.
The electron cloud represents all the orbital in an atom. It is a good approximation of how electrons behave in their orbital
The level in which an electron has the least energy- the lowest energy level- has only one orbital. Higher energy levels have more that one orbital.
Example: See figure 15 in the book on page 117
**Notice the maximum number of electrons in an energy level is twice the number of orbital. Each orbital can contain two electrons at most.
A configuration is an arrangement of objects in a given space. Some configurations are more stable than others, meaning that they are less likely to change.
Electron configuration: the arrangement of electrons in the orbital of an atom.
The most stable electron configuration is the one in which the electrons are in orbital with the lowest possible energies.
When all the electrons in an atom have the lowest possible energies, the atom is said to be in its ground state.
When an electron moves to an orbital with higher energy this is referred to as the excited state.